When a Tuscon, Arizona, man saw a sign on the house that said “Free dog,” he decided to knock on the door. The moment he saw the puppy’s big amber eyes and perky little ears, he knew he had to adopt the little guy.
The puppy — whom he named Neo — turned out to be a bigger handful than he had bargained for. Neo was often very skittish, difficult to house train, and demanded the man’s attention all the time, which was difficult because he was a student who also worked full time.
When the man was out of the house, he would leave Neo in the backyard, but the puppy refused to stay put. The pup would dig his way out or jump the fence to get into the neighbor’s yard and play with their dogs. His owner built a higher fence, but Neo soon chewed through it.
Neo wasn’t interested in interacting with people besides his owner, but his wolf-like desire to find his pack meant he was always visiting the neighbor’s dogs. At first the neighbors tolerated Neo’s visits, but he began to become a nuisance, and one day they decided they’d had enough…
The neighbors threw Neo on a leash and drove him to the Humane Society. They hoped that the shelter would be able to hold him until they worked out something with the owner to get the canine’s behavior under control.
A worker who was standing outside the building when they arrived saw Neo and instantly knew that he was no dog. His long, lanky body was one clue, but what struck her most was the way he nervously avoided human interaction.
She asked the perplexed-looking owners if they knew that wasn’t a dog on their leash, and they admitted that they’d had their suspicions. The Humane Society looked into Arizona’s wolf dog ownership laws and found that in order to legally own one, you needed to have a special permit that was difficult to obtain.
They decided to get in touch with Wolf Connection, a California wolf dog rescue and sanctuary, to see if they could take Neo. Luckily there was space, so all the Humane Society had to do was get in touch with Neo’s original owner…